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Shuanhu Zhou, PhD
Associate Scientist, Brigham and Women's Hospital
Assistant Professor of Orthopedic Surgery, Harvard Medical School

Brigham and Women's Hospital
Department of Orthopedic Surgery
75 Francis Street
Boston, MA 02115

Phone: (617) 732-5397
Research Email:

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Research Narrative:

Bone is a living tissue that deteriorates with aging due to an imbalance between the activity of cells that continuously generate new bone and cells which reabsorb old bone. Cells that produce new bone, osteoblasts, are differentiated from a type of adult stem cells -- mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), which are also the progenitors of chondroblasts that form cartilage, and adipocytes that develop into fat.  The bone marrow, mineralized bone, and the periosteum are densely innervated, particularly by the thinly myelinated and unmyelinated nerve fibers, that are requisite for bone health and contribute to bone disease. My current research investigates (1) the effects of aging on hMSCs and how the aging cellular microenvironment (niche) of these stem cells may contribute to their declining ability to produce new bone-producing cells that could be important in developing methods for keeping adult stem cells healthy longer which in turn could keep our bones healthy longer; (2) the mechanisms of osteoarthritis, and the effects of aging on cartilage tissue engineering with human MSCs by using in vitro three-dimensional device as a platform that may lead to new rationales for skeletal therapeutics and may result in practical information about optimizing skeletal histogenesis in elderly patients; (3) alcohol-induced bone loss and stem cell dysfunction; (4) neuroskeletal biology.  My outstanding research made me one of the winners of the 2001 Rector Award of Hebrew University for excellent PhD student, 2006 John Haddad Young Investigator Award of American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, and 2012 Musculoskeletal Best Paper Award from Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

The overall goal of my research is to contribute new information to skeletal and neuroskeletal biology and to understand the mechanisms of skeletal aging and to develop new therapeutic opportunities for aging-related skeletal diseases.  My long-term career goal is to commit an academic research career in the fields of neuroskeletal biology, biogerontology, and orthopedic science, focusing on adult stem cells, their cellular microenvironment (niche), and skeletal aging.

Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 2001, PhD
Sichuan University, 1985, BS

2001 Rector Award for Excellent PhD student, Hebrew University, Israel.
2012 Musculoskeletal Best Paper Award, Biomedical Research Institute, BWH
2006 ASBMR John Haddad Young Investigator Award, USA.

Lab Members:
Dongyang Qian, MD, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Tao (Tony) Yu, MD, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Pan (Stefan) Fan, MD, Visiting PhD Student
Yuan Xiong, MD, Visiting PhD Student
Anish Patel, Research Trainee

Other Professional Activities:
National Scientific Advisory Council, 2012-2020, American Federation for Aging Research
Affiliated Faculty, Harvard Stem Cell Institute
Senior Editorial Board Member, Scientific Reports